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Tickets for the last two performances of "Law Law Land," a musical variety show and spoof of the legal profession, are on sale now for Friday and Saturday night's final performances. Funds raised provide scholarships to minority Law students attended Law Schools in Texas.

"LAW LAW LAND" is 32 years in the making! Tickets for Friday, Saturday night shows available at


Attorney Martha Hardwick Hofmeister is directing another hilarious show playing now at SMU’s Greer Garson Theater through Saturday night, June 17, 2017.

Law Law Land,” is the 32nd annual show created by the Bar None cast and supported by the Dallas Bar Association and Dallas Bar Foundation.

A lively musical variety show, it features skits poking fun at the legal profession and local and national politics.

Hofmeister is a University of Texas Law School graduate. She studied English at Emory University and is a graduate of Trinity Prepatory School.

Martha is married to attorney Kent Hofmeister, who has also been involved in the Bar None show for years as a musician and singer/actor, along with hundreds of other attorneys, judges and “legal Eagles” over the three decades. Funds raised go to provide scholarships for minority law students attending any law school in Texas. Kent also sings and plays guitar in a local Band, The Cat Daddies, which plays at many metroplex events including local runs for charity.

Family Law Attorney Rhonda Hunter has been the choreographer of the show since its first show 32 years ago. She spends hundreds of hours teaching steps to the Bar None cast, and is often featured in the big dance numbers if nobody else can master the fancy footwork necessary to pull off the steps.

Members of Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas serve each year in the Box office and as ticket-takers and will once again be at the theater to meet and greet guests, cast and crew. See: or the Altrusa Downtown Dallas Facebook page for more info, or the Bar None Facebook page.

For more information and tickets:

June 14-17, 2017 Greer Garson Theatre, SMU Campus

If you have a problem completing your order online, please contact the Dallas Bar Foundation at (214) 220-7487
Group Discount! Purchasing 10 or more tickets below gets you the discount price of $25 each!

All seats are General Admission, and tickets are non-refundable. Ticket Exchanges may be made up until the day of the performance. 

Judy Porter is a local writer and a member of Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas. Contact her at





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Lauren Medel survived a near-fatal car crash 11 years ago and had to re-learn many simple tasks from talking to walking. Now she helps others with disabilities through her expanding law practice. A graduate of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, AZ, class of 2000, she went on to Scottsdale Community College where she received her Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business; Arizona State University where she received her BAS in Political Science and Communications; Western International University, to get her MBA; and finally St. Mary’s School of Law, to receiver her JD (doctor of Law) degree.


The Law Office of Lauren Medel is already expanding, barely one year after the first office opened at 1813 Balboa Place in Oak Cliff.

You may have already seen her two billboards on Highway 67 and Interstate 35.

But you may not know that 11 years ago, on June 4, a serious car crash nearly killed her.

She survived, but suffered a brain injury which changed the course of her life.

A native Texan, Lauren was born at St. David’s hospital, in downtown Austin. Her family moved to Scottsdale Arizona, where Lauren grew up with identical twin sisters Aya and Keighsie Huffman. She also has half-siblings Tammy, Dixie, Robbie and Lisa from her father’s first wife and then Matt and Andy from her father’s second wife and step brothers Ben, Joseph and James.

She credits her multiple younger siblings with growing up knowing that she wanted to “be in charge!”

At 35, she is!

Her all-female law firm has been helping clients in southern Dallas and as more and more come from cities south of Dallas, such as DeSoto, Duncanville and Lancaster to the Balboa Street office, Attorney Medel realized she could do more.

Medel said, “A great opportunity came available for me to have a new location in East Oak Cliff, which is a highly underserved area in terms of legal representation.  In my current location, I noticed that MANY of the clients I was serving were from East Dallas and Lancaster and this location became available.”

Medel adds, “The location chose me!  The owner is an acquaintance of mine and he asked me to come see an opportunity.  He saw the underserved area and gave me an opportunity I could NOT PASS UP!!”

La’Mesha Antoine is the office manager at the new space, located at 1117 S Beckley Dallas 75203 at the corner of Beckley and Clarendon.

Medel will be hosting an Open House next Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the original Balboa office, 1813 Balboa Place, Suite 206, Dallas 75224, as host to the Oak Cliff Women in Business networking group. Any business woman can attend, or one who is looking for a new career.

“Queens and Future Queens” is the non-profit that will be highlighted. The agency works to help girls grow up to be young women of substance, and have a women’s empowerment summit coming up on September 30, 2017, in Grapevine. Medel is one of the speakers for the summit, along with other nationally-recognized women including Keynote “Laser Focus” motivational speaker Cynthia Bazin, Fitness Guru Sky Landish, Civil Rights Advocate Carmen Perez and Queens and Future Queens Founder Pauline Holmes.

Medel says her new law office opened on May 26, 2017. Running the office will be an exciting adventure for her, a JD, MBA who just left corporate America in August.  “I’m building the plane while flying it, and couldn’t be more excited about it.  I have a fantastic team of professionals by my side making the growth possible.”

Medel will be expanding her services to new clients. “We will really be trying to help with immigration and other needs that tend to be overlooked in this underserved community.  I’ve noticed lots of families in this part of Oak Cliff have real estate issues to resolve and more.  I want to expand to help everyone that I can!”

Married now for six years to Brandon Medel, they are the proud parents of two children, Noah Jack and Liberty Dale.

Coming from the struggle of a divorced, destructive, abusive home, Lauren grew up with a real sense of justice and right and wrong. She feels blessed to have both the intelligence and good luck to be academically strong. She is also extremely patriotic. “I love America almost more than I love my own children--note my daughter’s name—but I knew I could never be in the military, so I figured lawyering was the next best thing.”

Her goal is to provide peace of mind to all her clients.

And she’s already doing it from two different offices in the Oak Cliff area.


To learn more, contact her at or see her website:

For more information about the Oak Cliff Women in Business, see the group's Facebook page: OCWIB or contact Vicky Gouge:

Author Judy Porter can be contacted at

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Makariah Gaddis (Right) dropped by last week to see her former favorite teacher, Miss Leonor, at Youth Believing in Change After School Care program on Stuts Road in Lake Highlands, where Makariah spent many hours volunteering. She Credits "Miss Leonor" with teaching her Spanish, one of the three languages Makariah speaks. Trilingual, Makariah also plays three instruments: Piano, Violin and guitar and is graduating in June from the renowned Booker T. Washington School for the Arts.

Talented Musician, Volunteer, Tri-Lingual A+ Student headed for New York

Makariah Angel Gaddis was a tiny baby but she’s grown up in a big, beautiful way.

Born almost two months premature, she was five pounds, three ounces, and spent the first three days of her life in the hospital, gaining weight and strength, while her mother and father prayed for her.

She’ll graduate from the elite Booker T. Washington School for the Arts on June 5, where she not only sings and dances, but speaks in three languages: Spanish, Italian, and English. She also understands a bit of French and Portuguese. She says she learned her Spanish skills from “Miss Leonor” of Youth believing in Change, the after school and summer camp program she’s been attending for years. Miss Leonor has been teaching in the program for more than a decade.

To say Makariah is a Renaissance woman would be an understatement.

She began reading at the age of three and became a Christian at age four. At Booker T, she’s a member of the school’s National Honor Society (NHS), National Science Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, LULAC, Mariachi Dance group, Gospel Choir, Black Student Union, Fellowship of Christian Artists, “Green Bean Environmental Club” and Tibet Club.

If it sounds like she doesn’t have any time to attend classes or study, you’d be wrong. As she headed into her Final Exams, she was sporting a 4.1 GPA.

In addition to all her school activities, she is an active volunteer in the Dallas community and a member of the Youth Believing in Change ministry, run by Pastor Vincent Gaddis—her father.

Her mother, Angela Gaddis, leads the youth choir. YBC’s choir has performed at the Fort Worth Convention Center before an audience of nearly ten thousand, at Children’s Medical Center, as well as many local nursing homes and retirement villages.

Makariah can sing, dance, and play guitar, but it’s the latter she plans to focus on both in college at The New School in New York and then in a career. Makariah played her guitar for a delighted audience of over 260 last month at the annual YBC “Evening of Change” dinner at Highland Park Presbyterian Church, along with a group of musician friends from her school.

She enjoyed her years learning Point and dancing in the Mariachi troupe, but now concentrates on her guitar play. Accepted at all the colleges she applied to, including Azusa Pacific in California and Berkelee School of Music in Boston. The New School is where she wants to continue her education, and the school has offered her a partial scholarship. Makariah hopes to raise more funds this summer, possibly by playing her guitar. Her hope is to be a successful musician, playing songs she creates, and teaching others about music in a collegiate setting, probably  in Europe, where she’s travelled before.

When she’s not practicing four hours a day you might catch her working with the children in the YBC summer camp program. YBC focuses on community outreach and teaches the importance of leadership, respect, responsibility, and integrity. Makariah has grown up in the program, becoming a natural leader to the younger students following in her footsteps. After all, she jump-started her life arriving early as a tiny baby and grew up to have a powerful voice both on stage and in her community. Her parents prayed for her, and now she prays for others like her, those who need strength and guidance.

Makariah Gaddis may have been a tiny baby, but she’s got a big, bright, beautiful future ahead of her.


Makariah will be playing for friends and family at the Biblical Arts Center, 7500 Park Lane, Dallas, TX 75225 on June 24, 2017, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

To contact her about the recital or to hire her to perform

For more info.


on Youth Believing in Change, see the website: or the Ybc dallas Facebook page.

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Two members of Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas received recognition for their thirty years of service in the club. Receiving 30-year pins from Membership Chair Kim Abmeyer (L-R) were Mediator Barbara Clay and Holly Roundtree, CPA. Both women are past presidents of the club and have won multiple awards in their three decades of service to the club and the citizens of downtown Dallas.


Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas has installed new officers for the 2017-2018 year.

Attorney Nicole LeBoeuf, a member of the community service club since September of 2011, is the new president. She is the owner of LeBoeuf Law, PLLC, located in downtown Dallas.  A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law with an undergraduate degree in English and Government from UT-Austin, she has been an active volunteer in the Dallas community for years, including as a volunteer advocate for CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, for 16 consecutive years. She served as President-elect in 2016-2017, stepping in to run meetings if 2016-2017 President Nina Cox was out of town. Dallas Attorney Martha Hardwick Hofmeister, President of the Altrusa Club of Downtown Dallas twice, invited LeBoef to join the club six years ago and was her sponsor.

A civil trial lawyer with active experience in both state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration, LeBoeuf has expertise in the areas of professional liability and business litigation.

President-elect Judy Porter will follow in LeBoef’s footsteps next year. A member of Altrusa since 1990, she was Vice President of Communications for Altrusa this past year. She owns Porter People PR, a public relations business that helps promote small businesses and nonprofits that help women and children and promotes literacy, such as Youth Believing in Change, an afterschool program for latch-key children located on Stults Road in Lake Highlands. Porter graduated Magna Cum Laude from West Virginia University with a degree in Journalism and has a Master’s in Theology and an MBA in Human Resources from the University of Dallas.

Treasurer Debbie Tull, former Executive Director and COO of the Salvation Army of DFW, joined Altrusa in June of 1994. She is now Operations Partner of Mobility Ventures, a strategic resource partner helping entrepreneurs succeed in building great companies. She was voted Altrusan of the Year in 2012 after chairing Dessert First, the bi-annual fund raiser sponsored by Altrusa, to its most successful year raising over $80,000 to donate to local agencies.

Board Secretary Fay Hamden is a new member of the club, having joined in April of 2016. She is originally from Australia and now lives in McKinney. She is a Fashion Stylist with Cabi.

Vice President of Communications, Lisa Robinson of Southlake, owns and runs a successful business, Memories Made Events. She joined Altrusa in 2015.

Fund raising VP for 2017-2018 is Nina Cox, a top Mary Kay sales executive and the previous 2016-2017 club president. She was also honored as the “Heart of Altrusa” at the banquet, as voted on by members of the club.

Membership VP is Christina Coultas, former Senior Director of Community Collaboration for the Family Place and an Altrusa member since 2015.

Service VP is Kathleen Scott, a veteran member of the club, having joined in November of 1989 and a recipient of multiple club awards including Community Service Superstar in 1999 and Club Fund Raising Superstar in 2012. Scott also served of club president in 1998-99.

Board Parliamentarian Karen Washington, a practicing Attorney, was appointed by Nicole LeBoeuf. Washington is a returning member to the club, rejoining in 2012 after a short break.

Two members received recognition for their thirty years in the club. Receiving 30-year pins were Mediator Barbara Clay and Holly Roundtree, CPA. Both are past presidents of the club and have won multiple awards in their three decades of service to the club and the citizens of downtown Dallas.

In addition to installing new officers at the Banquet, outgoing President Nina Cox began the evening with highlights of the success of the club’s year, and announced the awards that were presented to the club at the state-wide District Nine Conference held last month in Waco.

The awards included:

  • Second Place Edith DeBusk President’s Award to 2015-2016 honoring president Niki Payne
  • Third place for the Club Communication Award and it’s chair, Marsha Reynolds
  • Third Place for the Joella Terrill Butler Membership Award for bringing in so many quality members
  • Third Place awards for generosity: for the Linda Nichols Foundation Contribution Awards - Total Club Contributions
  • Third Place for Highest Number of Club 21 Members, a fund used originally to help women and children with HIV-related health issues

The Downtown Dallas Club’s District Nine Club All-Star Amy Gavigan was honored in Waco and at the Lakewood dinner, and later received the club’s most coveted annual award as “Altrusan of the Year,” voted on by the members of the club. She is the outgoing Board Secretary.

Sixteen members of the 80-member club received perfect attendance awards for being at all 21 meetings during the year 2015-2016: Kim Abmeyer; Lynne Auerbach; Kathaleen Bauer; Nina Cox; Amy Gavigan; Martha Hofmeister; Barbara Kennedy; Scottie Kennedy; Dorothy Nowlin; Niki Payne; Judy Porter; Marsha Reynolds; Holly Roundtree; Kim Schonwald; Debby Weber; and Ann Worthy.

Altrusa is a service organization for civic-minded people who strive to create better communities worldwide. The Downtown Dallas Club was found in 1982. Meetings are held once a month in the City Club in the Bank of America Building downtown, and a new monthly evening meeting is planned monthly for this 2017-2018 year. Recent recipients of service and donations include Youth Believing in Change, Vickery Meadow Learning Center, Meals on Wheels, Bar None, Irma Rangel Leadership School for Girls, Attitudes and Attire and Juliette Fowler Communities' Ebby House.

For more information see: or the club's Facebook page, Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas.

Or contact membership chair Christina Coultas:

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Delicious freshly-baked cakes are now available at Alfonso's Italian Restaurant in Olde Lake Highlands. Customer Karen Zahulek knows a good thing when she sees one--and tastes one!

CRAB CAKES ARE BACK! Expanded Bar, New “Ladies Night” Specials on Thursdays Becoming a Popular Option

Owner Pete Colombo wants his veteran customers to know his restaurant’s famous crab cakes are back.

“I took them off the menu for a while, but people kept asking for them,” he said recently.

After 35 successful years in Lake Highlands, Alfonso’s has an updated menu, crisp atmosphere and new staff to keep up with the times.

Established in 1982 in Casa Linda Plaza, serving pizza and pasta dishes in a rustic old style Italian setting, the restaurant was named after owner Peter Colombo’s father.  Pete tries to keep his ingredients as fresh as possible, following in the footsteps of his dear ol’ dad and his love of enjoying only the freshest food available.

With just six seats at the bar in Alfonso's for the past two and a half decades, it was hard for neighbors to mingle there. Now the expanded bar seats 16 people, with another 20 seats at the tables in the bar area, 30 more than in the previous 25 years. Regular customers are enjoying a drink and a dinner at the new bar and Colombo couldn't be happier about it.

Known for his generosity to local schools--such as DISD's Hexter Elementary a Block away--Pete Colombo is an icon in the neighborhood. Many neighborhood teens get their first job working for him, as a hostess, bus boy, or server.

The addition of a new “Ladies Night” on Thursday at the bar, with entrees half-price for the women who dine there, has kept the restaurant hopping, adding to the excitement in the established neighborhood.

Crab Cakes and Chocolate Cake

In addition to the return of the popular Crab Cakes, giant freshly-baked cakes are also displayed on the bar to entice patrons to stay for dessert.

Pete hopes his place will be serving up the best in Italian dishes for the next 35 years. His neighbors, and new customers, hope so too.


Alfonso’s is located at 718 N Buckner Boulevard, #222 in Lake Highlands, Dallas, 75218.

Open Tuesday through Saturday at 11:00 a.m. for lunch and Sunday at 11:30, the restaurant closes on weeknights at 9:30, 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Contact the restaurant at: 214-327-7777 or see:


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Past Altrusa Club of Downtown Dallas President and last year's "Altrusan of the Year" Niki Payne of David Bush Realtors congratulates this year's recipient of the annual award, Amy Gavigan, at the club's annual awards and installation banquet May 16 at the Lakewood Country Club. Gavigan has been a member of the service club for three years.

Altrusan of the Year and Super Star Awards bestowed as the Downtown Dallas Service Club Wraps up a Successful Year


Amy Gavigan was honored by being named the “Altrusan of the Year” for the Altrusa International Club of Downtown Dallas for 2016-2017.

At an evening awards and installation banquet held at the Lakewood Country Club on Tuesday, May 16, Gavigan, the outgoing recording secretary for the service club for the past two years, was surprised by the honor.  

Voted by her club members as the outstanding member for her diligent work within the service club--keeping the minutes of the twice-monthly general meetings and monthly Board meetings--and her many hours of community service performed throughout Dallas. Gavigan achieved over 100 hours of volunteer service in the past 12 months in addition to her full-time job.

Gavigan only joined the Altrusa club three years ago, in May of 2014. Her first term as recording secretary began June 2015 and she was re-elected in 2016 for a second term. Board members typically serve one term. Business men and women from a variety of neighborhoods in and around downtown Dallas join the club to work together to perform service benefitting women and children in crisis and promote literacy. Altrusa of Downtown Dallas is one of the largest clubs in the International service organization, reaching over 80 active members last year.

Gavigan has worked for U.S. Trust Bank of America,  in downtown Dallas, for 17 years, where she currently is a Trust Administrative Officer.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and  earned an MBA at Texas Woman’s University.

An avid knitter, Gavigan has submitted entries in the annual State Fair of Texas Creative Arts competition, where she has won honorable mention, third place and second place ribbons over the past several years. She also enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, fishing, and watching Texas Aggie Football.

Her favorite service project with Altrusa was delivering Thanksgiving meals for Shared Housing with her mother, Elizabeth Gavigan, of California. Altrusa members bring the turkeys and all the trimmings to Shared Housing members throughout the downtown Dallas area who typically have low incomes and live together to share expenses.

In addition, Gavigan was the first in the club to complete and turn in her 100 hours of service this year, a challenge set out for all Altrusa Club members to do for this year’s 100th anniversary. Some of her service included:

  • · T-shirt Sales for Bar None held on the SMU campus, which raises scholarship money for minority law students in Texas
  • · sorting coats and donating to the drive to benefit children who don't have a coat for “Make a difference Day”
  • · Shared Housing – Thanksgiving Basket Delivery to lower-income residents near downtown Dallas
  • · Shopping for Christmas gifts for families of the Human Rights Initiative
  • · Working both the Raffle Table and Giving Tree at “Dessert First” the club's fund raiser, which provides funds for multiple non-profit agencies

Gavigan was also honored in Waco last month at the Altrusa state-wide conference as her club’s 2017 District Nine All Star Award recipient, and she has two consecutive years of Perfect Attendance at all-club meetings 2016-2017 and 2015-2016.

She attended the 2016 District Nine Fall Leadership Conference and is excited to be a 2017 International Convention Delegate to be held in Nashville in July.

Gavigan says she’s looking forward to being “part of the crowd” sitting among the members of the club at meetings, rather than at the head table where she’s been keeping copious notes for the past two years.

Altrusa is a service organization for civic-minded people who strive to create better communities worldwide.  The club’s focus is helping women and children in the Dallas metroplex through service projects to fulfill the mission of “Educating Families for a Better Future.” The club is affiliated with Altrusa International, Inc. an international organization with over 300 clubs worldwide with a strong history of literacy education.

The Downtown Dallas Club was found in 1982, and currently has over 70 members. Meetings are held once a month in the City Club in the Bank of America Building downtown, and a new monthly evening meeting is planned monthly for this 2017-2018 year. Recent recipients of service and donations include Youth Believing in Change, Vickery Meadow Learning Center, Meals on Wheels, Bar None, Irma Rangel Leadership School for Girls, Attitudes and Attire and Juliette Fowler Communities' Ebby House.

For more information see: or the club's Facebook page, Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas.

Or contact membership chair Christina Coultas:

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Youth Believing in Change on Stults Road went through a beautiful metamorphasis on Saturday, May 6, 2017, as a dozen of the children worked to plant hundreds of flowers on the Stults Road property. The after school program becomes a summer camp beginning June 5.

Youth Believing in Change Beautifies Lake Highlands with Flowers, Learn To Care For the Earth

Twenty-two years ago, Vincent Gaddis began a reading program for public school children by bringing a pizza and some books to a local park to read to the kids playing there. Now the students are brought from their nine different public schools in DISD and Richardson ISD to work on their homework, learn new academic skills and sing songs of praise.

On Saturday, a dozen of the 200+ after school students came to help beautify their world by planting hundreds of flowers throughout the two-acre property on Stults Road.

With their teachers Grace Nicodemus, Aria Rastandeh and Leonor Aguilar supervising, along with 12 volunteers, the children dug deep into the dirt and learned how to gently plant flowers of all shapes and sizes. Most of the children had never planted flowers before, and enjoyed wearing work gloves and using hand tools to get the job done.

Pizza was enjoyed by all afterwards, and the children and adult volunteers left with happy faces and full stomachs.

Youth Believing in Change, located in Lake Highlands, also runs a summer day camp for children four to 14 which begins June 5, 2017 and runs through July. Camp hours are from 8:30 to 3:00 each day, and include breakfast and lunch and special field trips.

For more information on YBC see it’s website at: or its Facebook page: Ybc Dallas.

Or call 214-692-9242.

YBC needs tutors! Youth Believing in Change is located at 8574 Stults Road, Dallas, Texas 75243. Eagles Scouts are encouraged to consider YBC for their final scout projects.

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Sham Brahne, a 7th grader from Forest Meadow Junior High, was the student speaker at the annual Evening of Change on May 4, 2017 held at Highland Park Presbyterian Church. Sham practiced her speech before hand with her mother, and went on to tell the crowd of nearly 300 how the YBC afterschool program helped her to become a leader, and she now tutors younger students who attend.

An Evening of Change Celebrates 22 Years of Success and Thousands of School Children Served

Twenty-two years ago, Vincent Gaddis began a reading program for public school children by bringing a pizza and some books to a local park to read to the kids playing there.

A packed annual “Evening of Change” dinner on Thursday, May 4, featuring a student speaker and Dallas District Attorney Faith Johnson, brought supporters and their friends up to date on the ministry, Youth Believing in Change, now located on Stults Road in Lake Highlands.

Vince Gaddis and his wife, Angela, are still working to make sure the students in nine DISD and RISD schools have a safe place to go after school during the dangerous hours of 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., when unsupervised children often get into trouble.

The evening began with the Booker T. Washington Jazz Ensemble featuring Makariah Gaddis, a senior at the school and daughter of Vince and Angela, followed by songs sung by the 70-member Children’s Choir led by Angela Gaddis.

Thirteen-year-old Sham Brhane, a 7th grader at Forest Meadow Junior High, was the night’s student speaker. She captivated the 300-member audience from the moment she introduced herself. “I was born here in Dallas, but my parents are from Eritrea which is close to Ethiopia. I’m a native Dallasite. That means I love the Dallas Cowboys, In ‘n Out Burgers and the Galleria!”

She went on to explain, “I first came to YBC when I was just three years old. My mom knew Pastor Gaddis and my brother was already coming here. So, I’ve been coming for ten years. What I like about YBC is that when I come I know I am going to learn something and not waste my time. I go home in a good mood, knowing that my homework is finished, my tummy is full and my heart feels happy.”

Brahne finished her short speech with her current leadership role at YBC: “Now I’m one of the older kids. Now I have the responsibility to tutor the younger kids, pre-K and Kindergarten, so that their homework is done, their tummies are full, and they go home with a happy heart.”

Long-time volunteer Vick Clesi and his wife Janet were honored by Pastor Gaddis for their years of support of the Ministry.

Former University of Dallas President and Catholic Diocese of Dallas Monsignor Milam Joseph, a childhood friend who followed Clesi to Notre Dame, spoke about their friendship over seven decades, noting that they met when they were little and have kept in touch now that both men are turning 80. Brahne presented the monsignor with a gift basket at the end of the evening, and she received a hug and words of encouragement from the champion of education.

Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson spoke of her years growing up as the youngest of 13 children, and how her strong faith helped her throughout her life and in her current very busy, often difficult, high-profile position.

Brahne’s classmate and friend at YBC, 13-year-old Ethan McNeal, invited those present to join the children of YBC for a Spring Flower Planting event on Saturday. Monsignor Milam Joseph ended the evening as it began, with a word of Prayer.


YBC has a summer program and needs tutors. Youth Believing in Change is located at 8574 Stults Road, Dallas, Texas 75243. See or its Facebook page: Ybc Dallas, or call 214-692-9242 

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Ten 8th graders from St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic School attended the 2017 Oak Cliff Lions Club Annual Bill Melton Humanitarian of the Year Awards Luncheon in April, and were invited to take a photo with this year's honoree, Vivian Castleberry. The students were amazed at Mrs. Castleberry's stories of Dallas in the 1940s when "there was only dirt roads north of SMU and just a few houses dotting the landscape for as far as the eye could see."

Ten 8th graders from St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic School were among the sold-out crowd of 160 at the annual Oak Cliff Lions Club Bill Melton Humanitarian of the Year Award Luncheon held last month at Weiss Auditorium at Methodist Medical Center.

This was the 39th year for the Oak Cliff Lions' award to be presented, but the first time students from St. Elizabeth’s were invited and attended.

Honoree Vivian Castleberry began her acceptance speech with an acknowledgment directed “to the students from St. Elizabeth’s back there in the corner of the room,” and another handful of The Canterbury’s School students. Both schools are in Oak Cliff and were invited by Lions who are associated with the schools. St. Elizabeth’s students are often seen around Oak Cliff volunteering and attending the Lions Club Luncheon was a chance for them to learn about the 88-year-old service club.

Widely recognized as one of Dallas’ most active community leaders and humanitarians, Mrs. Castleberry made a career of working to improve the city of Dallas through her volunteerism and activism and especially her three-plus decades of writing for the Dallas Times Herald.

A journalist for over 30 years, Castleberry was the first woman to serve on the editorial board of the Dallas Times Herald and she focused attention on issues considered controversial at the time: foster care, adoptions, abortions, domestic violence, child poverty.

She began her speech directed at the students in the room, and said she had celebrated her 95th birthday the week before and was often asked about what contributed to her long life. “The usual things like a god diet and exercise are important, but remaining positive and upbeat is key,” she told the students. She told them she was one of two working professional women in downtown Dallas in the late 1940’s, and that she continued to work even after she had children—something unheard of back in the day. She said when she married her husband she told him she wanted to continue to work outside of the home, and he was very supportive, as were her five daughters, four of whom attended the luncheon. Castleberry said they admitted to her on her 95th birthday that they never felt neglected by her being gone from their home to work, but instead considered themselves lucky to have a mother who was working out in the world making it a better place.

Castleberry helped create The Dallas Women’s Foundation, Women’s Issues Network, Women’s Center of Dallas, The Family Place and Peacemakers International among many others.

St. Elizabeth’s Isabelle Green said, “I enjoyed hearing Mrs. Castleberry talk about her career in journalism. As a writer originally for the 'Women’s section' of the  newspaper, she told us her main focuses were the 'Four F's’: food, fashion, family, and furnishings. It surprised me  when I learned of the limitations of writing that existed for female journalists at the time.”

She went on to note, “Mrs. Castleberry talked about the clothing expectations for women at that time. While reporting, women had to wear white gloves out in public, so they would be considered fashionable. I was shocked at the major differences of women's restrictions to write back then, compared to those that exist today. Mrs. Castleberry impressed me, and I was very moved by her story."

St. Elizabeth students were the first group invited by Bill Melton, Past Oak Cliff Lions Club President and Past Lions Club Governor, to take photos with the award recipient as the luncheon ended. Mrs. Castleberry made a point to shake each student's hand and learn their names, to the delight of the students. All ten will graduate this month and go on to various high schools, but each said they’d love to return for the 40th Annual Oak Cliff Lions Club Bill Melton Humanitarian of the Year Award Luncheon next year.

Along with Principal Rachel Dzurilla, chaperones were parents Andy and Susan Goza. Students attending included: Darrell Bagayna, David Cardoza, Mia Duarte, Savannah Flores, Isabelle Green, Jasmine Fontenot, Anthony Gonzales, Madison Goza, IsaJingheng Kelleher and Matthew Pedraza.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary is enrolling students in pre-k3 through 8th grade now for the 2017-18 academic year. Field trips are part of the school’s expansive educational program. The public is invited to come tour the school and meet the exceptional faculty and staff. For more information, see the school’s website

Or contact: Sandy Walkley, Administrative Assistant: (214) 331-5139 x21 or email her at:

Members of the Oak Cliff Lions Club volunteer in many different ways. Last year the club started a popular “Community Market Place” held on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. The market takes place from 8 a.m. to 12:00 noon in the parking lot in front of Lulu B’s located at 1982 Fort Worth Avenue in Oak Cliff. See: or the club’s Facebook pages: Oak Cliff Lions or Oak Cliff Lions Club Farmer’s Market for more information.

Judy Porter write stories about local heroes, small businesses, schools and non-profits. Contact her at

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Youth Believing in Change graduate Michelle Rushing was a special speaker at the One Hundred Shares Annual Luncheon held at the Dallas Country Club April 27. She credited the tutoring and leadership lessons she learned at YBC with her success in college and graduate school. Angela Gaddis, Children's Choir Director at YBC for 22 years, sang before and after the luncheon to the delight of the 100 women present.

Youth Believing in Change received a generous grant from One Hundred Shares last year, and returned this year to give a follow up report on the ministry.

Mrs. Angela Gaddis, a graduate of UT-Arlington with a degree in music and YBC Children’s Choir Director--and an accomplished singer--entertained the 100 women present with a song before and after the speakers. The annual luncheon, held Thursday, April 27, 2017, at the Dallas Country Club, was well attended.

“Miss Angela” leads a youth choir at Youth Believing in Change that includes 200 children. Every child in the afterschool ministry is taught to sing joyful songs, even those who don’t yet speak fluent English.

One Hundred Shares is made up of 100 women who donate their funds to help local non-profits share the good news of Jesus. The group holds an annual luncheon at the Dallas Country Club where funds are disbursed. Last year YBC and The Well ministry each received grants.

Youth Believing in Change has been helping children complete their homework after school for 22 years. In addition, children who attend the program get a hot meal, learn leadership skills and sing in the Youth Choir. In the Summer, nearly 300 children attend the all-day camp Monday through Thursday.

YBC provides transportation from nine different public schools in both DISD and Richardson to the two-acre campus on Stults Road near Stults Elementary School. Volunteers assist the eight teachers who help the students to complete their homework, work on additional English and math exercises, and learn scripture and praise songs. In the summer, 300 students spend four days a week at Youth Believing in Change's Summer Camp.

The after school and summer camp programs are funded by private donations from caring individuals and foundation grants.

An annual dinner benefitting YBC, an Evening of Change, is Thursday, May 4, at Highland Park Presbyterian Church on University boulevard. Keynote speaker for the evening is Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson. Music will be provided by the YBC youth choir and students from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. The public is invited. Tickets are $50 each or $500 for a table of eight.

For more information about the dinner or for tickets, contact YBC at 214-692-9242. Sponsorships are also available.

Afterschool tutors and volunteers are always welcome. Scout troops are encouraged to consider YBC when Eagles Scout projects are being discussed. For more information see the Ybc Dallas Facebook page, or the website: 

One Hundred Shares Dallas is a Christ-centered 501 (c) (3) organization that awards financial grants to Christian non-profit ministries in the greater Dallas area who serve people in need and proclaim the Gospel.Ministry